Monthly Archives: September, 2015

People still have power

I do not care that there is currently no legislation that could stop a second flag referendum, it’s an entirely moot and lazy point – up until last week there was no legislation for a fifth flag option either. It is disappointing the reporter who wrote this piece for Radio New Zealand Megan Whelan does not include that information. Fact is legislation can be modified on the fly and under urgency and constantly is, to pretend legislation is somehow static and unchanging is bad form and lends no integrity to the report.

The whole reasoning for informal votes is the hope that sheer volumes of numbers would be enough to put pressure on the government and wider community for support to stop what would by then clearly be a pointless second referendum. People still have power.  Am sick of journalists and media organisations hiding their balls and telling us we don’t.

Flag fallacies what not to believe

I for one will be making an informal vote first time around.

Tolley the Dog Whistler

Tolley the Dog Whistler

Tolley the Dog Whistler

Dog whistling headlines this week from the Minister of Social Development about women with children in CYF’s care and having more children. When asked by journalist Katie Bradford today about why she thinks these women keep having children, Tolley’s response was to say they must enjoy sex. Except abusive men know control a woman’s reproductive system and control the woman. Tolley’s dog whistle headlines has nothing to do with addressing a known problems but lifting National’s poll results.

Clickbait government

The current flag as sixth option to be added to the 1st flag referendum.

Flag It

I support this petition 100% and am happy to put my name too it.

My submission supporting this petition: 

The argument for the two-step referendum process was that voters needed to see which flag design the current flag would be up against before knowing if they would want to change to it or not.  Except people already know whether or not they are going to vote to change the flag.  Therefore two-step process is a waste time, money, debate and resources.

Then today parliament made even more of a farce of an already flawed process by effectively rejecting the final four designs when they voted to include Aaron Dustin’s Red Peak in the first of referendums. This action is akin to bringing back a wildcard in a badly run talent contest, except this one is a bizarre parliamentary version of New Zealand’s Flags’ Got Talent and it’s crap, and it’s costing taxpayers $26 million dollars.

The only honest course of action going forward is for the government to hold just one referendum which sees the current flag going head-to-head with the five alternatives.

One referendum, one vote, one flag, one time.

If you support this petition too, please sign and share.

Flangst: a feeling of deep anxiety or dread




a feeling of deep anxiety or dread, typically an unfocused one about changing New Zealand’s flag or the state of the flag change process in general.

“not having a Yes/No vote in the first referendum has caused unnecessary angst amongst voters, especially those who do not want to change”

synonyms: anxiety, fear, dread, apprehension, worry, perturbation, foreboding, trepidation, malaise, distress, disquiet, disquietude, unease, uneasiness; rare inquietude


Does the prime minister stand by all his statements?

It looks like today’s questions were a coordinated effort by opposition parties to make the prime minister answer questions and not have him fob them off to someone else or deny he has any responsibility to answer it. I thought Duncan Garner was a political journalist once, so surely he would have known this? Or is this fobbing off questions a new thing, unique to Team Key?

When MPs ask Key if he “stands by all his statements” he has to answer questions that are put to him and not pass it on to one of his Ministers. If they simply asked him about a particular subject, he can blow it off and not answer it by saying he has no responsibility for that portfolio, thereby wasting a valuable question. The government does this so the prime minister is kept from having to answer tough questions and/or be associated with dodgy, useless, inept, corrupt, etc, government ministers and departments.

For example you could ask Key about the state of operations at a particular DHB, he could claim he has no ‘ministerial responsibility for that’ and pass the question to his Minister of Health to answer. Or he might have made the claim a health department is operating very well, but when it’s proven it isn’t, he can simply deny he has any knowledge or responsibility for it. Whereas asking him if he “stands by all this statements” (usually it is only in relation to a particular topic) but to make the point the opposition parties gave him no wiggle room today by asking if he stood by all his statements since becoming prime minister, means he has to answer, and truthfully, MPs including the PM can not to lie to or mislead parliament. It’s probably the worse thing a politician can do.

Passing off questions has been happening a lot with this government and it frustrates democracy. A country needs a strong opposition (regardless of your politics) to hold governments to account but if they are hindered in the very house where they are meant to get answers for the public, from the very ministers or a prime minister who serve us, then there’s not much an opposition can be, but inept – and that doesn’t do anyone any favours. I applaud what the parties did to day. More of the same please.

Does the prime minister stand by all his statements

Does the prime minister stand by all his statements

Lord Ashcroft & his porky telling Prime Minister BFFs

It appears the United Kingdom’s David Cameron and New Zealand’s John Key have more than friendship with self-made businessman Lord Michael Ashcroft and prime ministerial office in common. It appears they are both world class liars, each willing to mislead their voting public to gain office.

Lord Ashcroft's porky telling Prime Ministers

Lord Ashcroft’s porky telling Prime Ministers John Key & David Cameron

Yesterday via an explosive extract of his soon to be published book ‘Call Me Dave’, Ashcroft makes the claim Cameron had lied to media about his knowledge of Ashcroft’s non-dom (non domiciled) tax  status. I don’t know enough about UK politics or indeed it’s tax system to comment, other than to say yesterday’s revelations show ‘Lord Cashcroft’ (as he was labelled by UK media) is not above greasing the party palms of would-be prime ministers in return for favours. Ergo is there something New Zealand voters need to be concerned about? Apart from our current prime minister Key having no issues with lying to government investigations that is.

Lord Ashcroft's congratulates his friend John Key on his 2014 election victory

Lord Ashcroft’s congratulates his friend John Key on his 2014 election victory

I’ve written extensively on John Key lying in 1991 to New Zealand’s Serious Fraud Office investigation into failed high-flying corporate Equiticorp. This inquiry was run in con-junction with Australia’s National Crime Authority who were investigating finance giant Elders IXL, a money lender that had extensive dealings with the New Zealand company.

Was it Ashcroft’s deep pockets combined with Crosby-Textor’s secretive spin that allowed these men to so confidentially mislead and beguile their way past voters’ hearts and into office? If so, how is that democracy?

Lord Ashcroft's bff's - Crosby-Textors cardboard cut-out prime ministerial liars

Lord Ashcroft’s bff’s – Crosby-Textors cardboard cut-out prime ministerial liars

Lord Ashcroft's porky telling Prime Ministers

Lord Ashcroft’s porky telling Prime Ministers

Love this brilliant, bold, determined woman.

Love this brilliant, bold, determined woman. Detention centers are vile, inhumane cattle yards and have no place in so called democratic civil societies.

Melbourne woman taking on Transfield over children in detention

September 18, 2015 – 10:44PM

This is the Melbourne woman who has corporate giant Transfield Services extremely nervous as it negotiates a new contract to run Australia’s offshore immigration detention centres.

Transfield is preparing to sign a multibillion-dollar, five-year deal to continue operating the Manus Island and Nauru camps on behalf of the federal government, and Shen Narayanasamy wants to put the release of children at the forefront of the company’s mind.

“People might be swayed by the Stop the Boats rhetoric, but they draw the line at child abuse.”

And Transfield is taking her and the newly formed group she helped create, No Business In Abuse (NBIA), very seriously.

Read more:


He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tangata! He tangata! He tangata!


SCOUT EXCLUSIVE: Mike Hosking embraces his inner cleaning lady

Hosking Very Sucky Big Noter

Newly launched entertainment and celebrity site SCOUT provided it’s audience with a much lauded first day exclusive on Monday which turned out to be little more than footage of NewstalkZB radio host and TVNZ’s Seven Sharp presenter Mike Hosking vacuuming his Ferrari. Yes, you read it right. New Zealand’s highest paid broadcaster vacuuming his car is a not just celebrity news to SCOUT, the knowledge is so titillating it needs to be delivered to us an exclusive. If this exclusive wasn’t such vacuous tripe you’d be forgiven for thinking Rachel Glucina and her SCOUT co-owners Mediaworks had taken out shares in a vacuuming cleaning company and were about to launch nightly SCOUT TV infomercials for their very own oh so sucky-motor.

However its not the mindblowing numbness of SCOUT’s very first exclusive that is the point of this post, rather it’s the sexism that accompanied it. Glucina as author of this dust bunny drivel, needs to lift her game if she hopes SCOUT to have any longevity. For the record, saying Hosking is not above ’embracing his inner cleaning lady’ is sexist and unnecessary. Men actually do clean and for the most part the majority of them don’t need to lower themselves from the lofty status of male to the lowly status of female to pick up a hoover.

If this is the level of narrative and content SCOUT hopes to provide, then I can’t wait for it’s close-up of Key the Elder trimming his nose hairs and Glucina’s exclusive interviews with each of his nose hairs for their unique take on the inner workings of Prime Minister John.

“Where the bloody hell are you?” Could Australia’s media do what New Zealand’s so far hasn’t?

Would Australia’s political pundits be as  ready to embrace their brand new prime minister Malcolm Turnbull’s unflinching admiration of  New Zealand prime minister John Key if they were aware that the subject of Turnbull’s affection had mislead an early 90’s investigation by their National Crime Authority (NCA) into the now infamous ‘H-Fee’ transactions? So what do you think? Would the tran-Tasman bromance still be welcomed despite it? Or would Australia’s journalists and commentators not be distracted by the flush of first love and actually call for the New Zealand prime minister to explain himself? Could Australia’s media do what New Zealand’s so far hasn’t?

Key & Turnbull

When Key’s 1991 statement to the H-Fee investigations surfaced a week before he was elected prime minister in November 2008, the document was largely accepted as ‘truth’ – even to the point that one highly regarded New Zealand journalist used the statement as ‘evidence’ of Key telling the ‘truth’ about one of his more infamous pre-PM brain-fades. In 2007 Key had tried to front foot questions by New Zealand Labour party politicians about his involvement in the H-Fee investigation, and in doing so had told a journalist that the ‘Labour hounds had nothing on him because he had left EMF in 1987 long before any of the H-Fees we’re decided’. When his statement came to light and it showed Key had actually told investigators he had left EMF in 1988, not 1987 as he’d told this reporter, Key confidently reassured waiting media that what he told investigators in 1991 was the real year and if they were to hear anything to the contrary, then it was nothing but a left-wing smear campaign by a desperate Helen Clark  and her then incumbent Labour government colleagues.

At the same time as Australia’s (now defunct) NCA were investigating the complex H-Fee foreign exchange movements between Australia’s corporate high-flier Elders IXL and New Zealand’s own Equiticorp, New Zealand’s newly established Serious Fraud Office (SFO) were trying to unravel this and many other dodgy movements of money into the hands of Equiticorp founder Alan Hawkins. The two investigating bodies worked closely together sharing information, running separate prosecutions within their own jurisdictions, with the NCA bringing a case in Australia against some of the offending parties over there and in 1992 in New Zealand the SFO’s brought successful charges against Hawkins. He was subsequently sentenced to six years in prison.

Key became involved in the H-Fee investigations when an ex-colleague of his Paul Richards, now head of forex at UBS in United States, was facing fraud charges for his part in one of the transactions. He had helped to facilitate some of the foreign exchange movements necessary to hide these transactions while working for Elders IXL’s New Zealand based subsidiary Elders Merchant Finance (EMF) in Wellington in 1988. Richards was only ever a bit player and eventually was given immunity from charges in return for giving evidence for the NCA’s prosecution across the ditch. Funnily enough a defense lawyer in that court case alleged Richards and Key’s statements to the investigation we’re completely made up, nothing but utter fabrication. What did they know that we don’t?

Richards who was first interviewed in November 1990, told investigators he could supposedly recall an event from 31 August 1988 because he and an ex-colleague ‘John Key’ had had a lunch that day. He could recall the exact date of the lunch because it allegedly marked his colleague’s last day with the firm. This date was at odds with the evidence of Richards’ boss Peter Camm and Elders IXL executive from Australia, Ken Jarrett, both of whom were also under investigation. Allegedly Richard’s was called away from the ‘lunch’ to meet with these two men. Jarrett had supposedly flown to New Zealand from Australia that morning.

In May 1991 Key was asked to corroborate Richards’ evidence. He told investigators he had given notice on 24 June 1988 and then two months later on 31 August the two colleagues were celebrating his final day, he was leaving EMF to head a newly established forex exchange department at rival finance company Bankers Trust. He confirmed Richards’ evidence about their lunch including how Richards had received a call and had to return immediately to the office. About 45 minutes later Richards allegedly returned, a little shaken but he told Key he could not go into detail other than to say he had just had a very strange meeting with his two co-accused. Allegedly the men continued their lunch and supposedly never discussed the strange turn of events again.

Now at Bankers Trust we were told Key worked with infamous American currency raider Andrew Krieger who was based at the company’s New York branch at the time. This relationship we we’re told was highly lucrative for the New Zealand branch and had soon turned the Auckland dealing room into the number one forex dealing room in the country. Reports about the success of this relationship worked to cement the then Leader of the Opposition’s backstory as a ‘state house kid made good’, a currency trader of some merit, a man at the top of his game, right in the thick of it with the world’s most notorious and infamous best. Key’s ex boss Gavin Walker, now chair of the Board of Guardians of the New Zealand Superfund, told media Key was responsible for the Auckland branch’s relationship with Krieger, it was in his job description to look after him and that as far as Walker was aware Key knew everything that Kreiger was executing across the local branch’s trading desk. Key himself told media he would never forget his first phone call with Krieger as the currency legend asked him about New Zealand’s GDP and it’s monetary supply.

Except Key working with Krieger means there is no time in 1988 that Key could have been working with Richards at EMF – it is simply not possible. Kreiger resigned from Bankers Trust on 23 February 1988 – some six months before the 31 August date Richards had told investigators, and later corroborated by Key, as been Key’s last day before he joined Bankers Trust in Auckland. Krieger’s resignation is well documented. He had disputed the amount of bonus he was due from his 1987 trades and promptly resigned leaving the company within a matter of weeks. Upon leaving Krieger spent one month on holiday before returning to the forex markets with another company. By June 1988 though he was disillusioned with currency trading and left the currency markets altogether, not only the markets but America itself, to study Sanskrit in India. He did not return to the currency markets until sometime in 1990. Even if Key’s statement to the H-Fee investigation is believed, it does not explain how he could trade millions upon millions of dollars of currency with someone that helped turn his trading room into the best in the country, when that person had left the currency markets entirely a couple of months earlier?

Did Key lie to the H-Fee investigations? More than likely. Will Aussie commentators think less of him for it? Hopefully. Not sure if Prime Minister Turnbull will, but no one will ever know unless the New Zealand media start asking Key to explain himself. Or could Australia’s media do what New Zealand’s media so far hasn’t?

In his book ‘Dirty Collars’ ex SFO head Charles Sturt says this of the vast powers bestowed upon his department,

“while a person may be compelled to answer questions, these answers may only be used in evidence if the accused subsequently gives evidence inconsistent with their previous statements”

So c’mon on journos, “where the bloody hell are you?”


2008 6 March ALT TV: Oliver Driver (Lets Be Frank) interview where Key talks about working with Andrew Krieger at Bankers Trust

2008 30 October Radio New Zealand: Kathryn Ryan(Nine to Noon) interviews John Key about H-Fee a week before 2008 General Election

Legal scholar & author Frank Partnoy interviewed Andrew Krieger for the book “Infectious Greed: How Deceit and Risk Corrupted the Financial Markets” and dedicated a chapter to him. The intro & chapter featuring Krieger ‘Patient Zero’ can be read free on Amazon Kindle +PC. Click “Read first chapter free” to view.

Please share this page with others, thank you.

“I did not have textual relations with that coniferist”

In recognition of his longtime friend and media spin merchant Rachel Glucina’s foray into serious journalism today over at Scout, our Dear Leader Kim Jong Key commissioned this commemorative piece of propaganda:

“I did not have textual relations with that coniferist”

Dear Leader Kim Jong Key Rachel Glucina

Thank you, Dear Leader, thank you.

Peak Red & the Great New Zealand Flag Off

Red Peakers who are calling for Aaron Dustin’s longlisted Red Peak design to be included in the first flag referendum are quickly peaking my peaking head in. I am no more a fan of the Drab Four flags that the 40 Shades of Beige panel offered up from the bland 39 available to them (or is that now 38 since the NZRU called copyright on the silver fern on black) than I am of any of those left on the longlist. Therefore it will come as no surprise that I’m not here championing the call for the inclusion of one more. Was there actually a groundswell of public support for including Red Peak in the Great New Zealand Flag Off? Or is it simply a social media bubble being paraded as a “movement”?

Red Peak

Campaigns have to start from somewhere of course, but this #RedPeak one has a very manufactured Lewis Road Creamery-esque social-media-hype-parading-as-news feel about it. In LRC’s defence, the online hype they achieved very quickly solidified into actual bona-fide mania, resulting in genuinely newsworthy product shortages and prime time product promotion. But I don’t think Red Peak is actually there yet – hence querying its sudden ‘newsworthiness’. Or is it people are so uninspired, so dejected by what amounted to a nationwide colouring-in competition, that they’re clinging to the first thing in this process that feels like it might actually have some citizens initiated passion behind it? That is, something that wasn’t foisted upon us from on high by lofty New Zealanders and not so lofty politicians. Is that what makes it newsworthy?

40 shades of beige panel

Now, as I said above, I am not a fan of any flags in the longlist and this sudden rise of #TeamPeak has not changed that, but I do wish the campaign well; if the numbers are there to support its inclusion then that’s pretty much people power in action, and that is a horse I can back. Some of the arguments for the design though could be considered questionable, so let’s start questioning them.

40 shades of beige flags

For example, the graphic below (shared on Facebook by Otis Frizzell) attempts to argue the Red Peak design has the same minimalist qualities of the Irish, French and Canadian flags and therefore is more like a ‘flag’ than Kyle Lockwood’s top-runner shortlisted flag/s. What can we say here, except with at least 11 elements to its design, Red Peak is just as ‘busy’ as the flags against which it is being compared.

Less is more

Red Peak has four individual graphics in three different sizes and it uses four different colours, also if the white is classed as a chevron and not a triangle, it too can be included. Lockwood’s has nine – 12 elements. Just because the graphics are triangles and not ferns, it does not mean they don’t clutter up the design.

Two of the minimalist flags Red Peak is being likened to, as in sharing similar qualities, have one element used three times and three colours. That’s it. These flags, the Irish and French, have anything from four – seven elements depending on if the rectangles are counted individually or not. The Canadian flag employs five – six elements, two colours, one rectangle in two sizes and one image. The Red Peak, unfortunately for its supporters, is simply not comparable to them. It is no more ‘flag like’ than Lockwood’s ferns of many colours.

There are many good arguments people can make for including another flag design in the referendum, offering another choice is one of them, but you’re drawing a long bow if you’re arguing that it should be Red Peak because it shares with many great flags the qualities of minimalism, because it actually doesn’t.


Hope you did not die in vain little one

Hope  RIP Aylan and Ghalib Kurdi Syrian Refugees

RIP Aylan & Galip


Why yes. Yes it can.

August 2010 Labour’s Charles Chauvel introduced a private members bill to parliament seeking to hold a debate on changing the New Zealand flag. He proposed an 18 month consultative process and a design competition, culminating in one referendum asking voters if the wished to retain the existing flag or to adopt one of the three competition winners. Unfortunately for Chauvel, who resigned from parliament in 2013, his bill was never drawn from the ballot.

So it may have come as some surprise to Chauvel and his Labour peers when John Key announced in January 2014 his government would be holding a referendum on this very issue. As only a few short years earlier change was not on the government’s agenda, not even remotely, as noted in this 2010 article.

“However, Mr Chauvel may have his work cut out for him as Prime Minister John Key has said changing New Zealand’s flag isn’t on the Government’s agenda.”


Read more:

Would be interesting to compare and rank Chauvel’s New Zealand Flag Bill with the government’s New Zealand Flag Referendum Act and see which flag process offered New Zealanders the best opportunity for unity, identity and change.

Also, just exactly what changed between 2010 and 2014 Mr Key?

Can the flag debate get any more farcical?

When the silver fern on black was not in the final four, I suggested it was because the NZRU was behind it, but I was being facetious. Little did I know how on the money I was.


Hands off our silky draws!